To help drivers find a better “fit” with their cars for comfort and safety, mobility experts are hosting a safety program designed to help older drivers and their families on Wednesday, Feb. 7 from 1- 4 p.m. at HealthSouth Valley of the Sun Rehabilitation Hospital. CarFit is a national program developed by AAA, AARP and the American Occupational Therapy Association and is designed to give a quick, yet comprehensive check on how well an older driver and their vehicle work together. This is a no ticket and no keys taken away event.
HealthSouth Valley of the Sun, in partnership with Midwestern University’s occupational therapy program will conduct CarFit check-ups at the hospital located at 13460 N. 67th Ave. in Glendale.
“As we age, changes in our vision, flexibility, strength, range of motion and even size and height may make us less comfortable and reduce our control behind the wheel,” said Rachel Woodruff, occupational therapist at HealthSouth Valley of the Sun. “CarFit provides older adults with the tools to understand and apply the safety features of their cars.”
At the CarFit event, trained volunteers complete a 12-point checklist with each driver. Among the items checked:
Correct position of driver’s seat
Driver’s ability to easily reach pedals
Proper adjustment of mirrors
Occupational therapists will be on hand to provide a consultation, if needed that will teach drivers how to maintain and improve aspects related to their driving health. The therapist can also provide information to participants addressing individual needs, including information about local community resources on exercise, nutrition and other programs to help keep them safe on the road.
“It is critically important that mature drivers make safety a personal priority,” said Beth Bacher, CEO of HealthSouth Valley of the Sun. “Driving today is more difficult than ever because of increased traffic congestion, longer commute distances, new technology and faster speeds. Older drivers can take important measures to mitigate the stress associated with driving.”
Drivers can also check with their local AAA club or AARP office to take a driver safety refresher course for older road users or contact HealthSouth Valley of the Sun at 623-334-5400 to learn more about occupational therapy driving evaluation programs for individualized assessments. To schedule a CarFit check-up, contact Emily Smith at 623-572-3630.
About HealthSouth Valley of the Sun Rehabilitation Hospital
HealthSouth Valley of the Sun Rehabilitation Hospital is a 75-bed hospital that offers comprehensive inpatient, outpatient and home health rehabilitation services. These programs are designed to return patients to leading active and independent lives. Serving patients throughout the Phoenix Metropolitan area and is located at 13460 N. 67th Ave. in Glendale and on the Web at www.healthsouthvalleyofthesun.com.
About Encompass Health
As a national leader of inpatient rehabilitation hospitals and home-based care, Encompass Health (NYSE: EHC), formerly known as HealthSouth, offers facility-based and home-based patient care through its network of inpatient rehabilitation hospitals, home health agencies, and hospice agencies. With a national footprint that spans 127 hospitals and 235 home health & hospice agencies in 36 states and Puerto Rico, the Company is committed to delivering high-quality, cost-effective care across the post-acute continuum. Driven by a set of shared values, Encompass Health is the result of the union between HealthSouth Corporation and Encompass Home Health & Hospice, and is ranked as one of Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For, as well as Modern Healthcare’s Best Places to Work.
About Midwestern University College of Health Sciences
Occupational Therapy Program students perform the CarFit as part of their educational curriculum. For more information contact Emily Smith at 623-572-3630.